Back in June at E3 this year, 2K Games showed off about half an hour’s worth of XCOM. People seemed to like it, especially given how less of a shooter it was and more of a tactical RPG it was that happened to have some shooting. The biggest complaint, though, was that it was much in the style of Mass Effect.
After watching the 22-minute controlled demo that everyone saw back then, I’d have to agree with part of that in that it is indeed very similar to Mass Effect, but I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing. I had a lot of fun in ME2 recruiting my party members and watching them level up along with me. It also made for some fun gameplay when I was sending my teammates to specific cover points to flank entrenched enemies with their special powers. If you watch the demo, you’ll see that both of these things are in XCOM and very similar.
Like I said, not a bad thing. You’ll probably want to go to the actual YouTube page, too, so you can read an introduction from XCOM’s narrative director Jordan Thomas. He talks a bit about how they updated XCOM in the intervening years since its announcement to better fit the strategic lineage of the original, saying it wasn’t “enough for the hardcore fans.”
At present, the video has a 1.2:1 like/dislike ratio. I understand fans and gamers in general will be concerned that 2K Marin is missing out completely on what made the original game so fun and memorable, but I’m willing to give them a chance. They didn’t butcher BioShock 2 (though squabbles still remain in my mind) and actually did very well with Minerva’s Den, so my hopes are high for XCOM.
Also, that game is looking fine.